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AFRS-3




The biggest names in Hollywood and Broadway recorded for AFRS during the war years, The
American Forces Network can trace its origins back to May 26, 1942,
when the War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service
(AFRS).

The U.S. Army began broadcasting from London during World War II, using equipment and studio facilities borrowed from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).


The first transmission to U.S. troops began at 5:45 p.m. on July 4, 1943 and included less than five hours of recorded shows, a BBC news and sports broadcast. That day, Corporal Syl Binkin

became the first U.S. Military broadcaster heard over the air. The

signal was sent from London via telephone lines to five regional transmitters to reach U.S. troops in the United Kingdom as they made preparations for the inevitable invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.


Fearing competition for civilian audiences the BBC initially tried to

impose restrictions on AFN broadcasts within Britain (transmissions

were only allowed from American Bases outside London and were limited to

50 watts of transmission power) and a minimum quota of British produced

programming had to be carried. Nevertheless AFN programmes were widely

enjoyed by the British civilian listeners who could receive them and

once AFN operations transferred to continental Europe (shortly after

D-Day) AFN were able to broadcast with little restriction with

programmes available to civilian audiences across most of Europe

(including Britain) after dark.


As D-Day approached, the network joined with the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to develop programs especially for the Allied Expeditionary Forces.

Mobile stations, complete with personnel, broadcasting equipment, and a

record library were deployed to broadcast music and news to troops in

the field. The mobile stations reported on front line activities and fed

the news reports back to studio locations in London.




Reviews

Reviewer: Greybelt - - June 28, 2014
Subject: Thanks so very much for posting these
These recordings are greatly appreciated. There are many radio series for which the AFRS recordings are the only ones that survive.
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dnt1961
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